Tag Archives: spicy

Sweet Potato Chili (V)

This Fall I taught my first series of cooking classes! I was so nervous but tried to focus on dishes I was most comfortable with and tried to make it a fun and enjoyable experience for the students. We made this recipe in the Fall Vegetarian Soups and Stews class and it was such a hit! What I love about this recipe is that it thickens up faster than regular veggie chili because of the starch in the sweet potatoes and it also keeps you full. It’s a complete meal! Super healthy, spicy and delicious.  I used two different types of beans, sweet potatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, jalapeno, peppers and onions. Super simple! The seasoning was just cumin, smoked paprika and garlic powder. YUM! Freeze half of it for a yummy dinner next week!

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You Will Need:

  • 1 16 oz can black beans
  • 1 16 oz can red beans
  • 2  16 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cans low-sodium vegetable broth (optional) 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced finely
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Spices: paprika, garlic powder, cumin powder
  • Optional toppings: onion, yogurt, avocado, cilantro , lime juice

To Prepare:

  1. Drain and rinse the beans, chop and prep all the veggies.
  2. In a pot, heat a few tbsps. of oil, and sauté the onion and garlic.
  3. When onions are translucent, add 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes to reduce the tomatoes.
  4. Add the spices: 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 3/4 tbsp cumin powder and some salt.
  5. Add the peppers and jalapeno and sauté for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the beans, and vegetable broth(or just water) and enough water to to cover the chili by a few inches.
  7. Simmer on medium for 15 minutes, or as long as you can for the flavors to blend and the chili to thicken.
  8. Add the sweet potato and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until sweet potato is soft.
  9. Check for seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and add water for desired consistency.
  10. Serve, topped with yogurt, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, lime or avocado.

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Sweet Potato Two-Bean Chili'

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz can black beans
  • 1 16 oz can red beans
  • 2  16 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cans low-sodium vegetable broth (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced finely
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Spices: paprika, garlic powder, cumin powder
  • Optional toppings: onion, yogurt, avocado, cilantro , lime juice

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans, chop and prep all the veggies.
  2. In a pot, heat a few tbsps. of oil, and sauté the onion and garlic.
  3. When onions are translucent, add 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes to reduce the tomatoes.
  4. Add the spices: 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 3/4 tbsp cumin powder and some salt.
  5. Add the peppers and jalapeno and sauté for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the beans, and vegetable broth(or just water) and enough water to to cover the chili by a few inches.
  7. Simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes, or as long as you can for the flavors to blend and the chili to thicken.
  8. Add the sweet potato and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until sweet potato is soft.
  9. Check for seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and add water for desired consistency.
  10. Serve, topped with yogurt, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, lime or avocado.

 

 

 

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Pinto Bean Poblano Soup

During the week I look for meals that are quick, easy and fit the healthy category too! This pinto bean  poblano soup has always been a hit. It really takes very little effort and time and just a few simple ingredients. SO  good. I picked up a few poblano peppers from the farmers market  and had a can of pinto beans on hand, so I decided to blend them together in a nice, hearty soup. I topped it with some avocado pieces and baked crispy tortilla strips that I just sprayed with olive oil and popped into the oven until crisp. I made enough for leftovers, but my sister ate them all! I guess I’m just going to have to make it again! Here’s the recipe.

Note: Poblano peppers are on the mild side but depending on the pepper may be slightly spicy. If you’d like less heat, remove the veins and seeds, if you’d like more, add a jalapeno or some chili flakes. 

You will Need

  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 small poblano peppers or 2 medium sized ones
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • optional can of vegetable broth

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Directions:

  1. Roast  the poblano peppers in a 450° oven until they blister. Turn over once one side blackens a little bit and allow the other side to broil.
  2. Remove from the oven, and place poblano peppers in a bowl, covered with a lid to steam them.
  3. Remove the skins and seeds and chop.
  4. In a pot, heat some oil
  5. Add chopped garlic and onion and saute until transluscent
  6. Add 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and saute some more
  7. Add the poblano peppers, and pinto beans and salt liberally
  8. Add an optional can of vegetable broth or some water and allow this to simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and blend
  10. Garnish with some tortilla strips, avocado, chives, cilantro, greek yogurt or whatever you would like!  My garnish was some pea shoots, avocado and home-made tortilla strips.
  11. Serve!

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Servings: 3-4

Rajas con “Crema” (V+GF)

If there’s one type of cuisine I could have every day it’s Mexican! Kind of like Indian Food, the flavor profile is so complex, so rich and satisfying. This is a recipe a good friend recommended to me. It’s a take on “Rajas con Crema” a mexican dish with poblano peppers and lots of cream. Instead of cream, I used cashews, rich in protein and only a portion of the fat of regular cream. I also added some seasonal squash and corn to the dish.  I served it up with some corn tortillas, black beans and homemade pico de gallo. Delish! It truly takes very little time once all the veggies are chopped. I know you’ll love it!

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Note: The spiciness of this dish really depends on the chillies you get. Some peppers are hotter than others. Try to  seed and de-vein the peppers if you prefer less spice and add more cream if it is still too hot for our liking.  

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Cold Asian Salads 2 Ways! Soba Noodles with Edamame and Ginger-Honey-Soy Dressing and Cucumber Sesame Salad.

That title was a mouthful! Summer was taking its time to leave us this year…not I’m complaining! I love the warm weather! So I treated myself to a refreshing lunch of cold soba noodles with edamame in a spicy honey-ginger-soy dressing with a side of cucumber sesame salad. The cucumber salad was so pretty! I used a peeler to make delicate little strips. It’s great to make ahead and stays well! The noodles were also super easy to make and would make an excellent side dish or light lunch when entertaining. Trust me, your guests will love it!

The kind of soba noodles I used was King Soba noodles with organic sweet potato and buckwheat. Soba noodles are japanese noodles made from buckwheat, which is a high-nutrient carb that scores low on the glycemic index.  I chose this particular buckwheat noodle mainly for the color, I felt it would contrast nicely with the edamame, cilantro and scallions, but any type of soba noodle will work.

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Honey-Ginger-Soy Soba Noodle Salad

You will need:

  • Soba noodles: They come tied up, you can use 2 bunches
  • Edamame
  • Carrot sticks (Or coarsely grated carrot)
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Dressing: Honey, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

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Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil
  2. Once it comes to a boil, dump the noodles in and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Check to see, to make sure it doesn’t get too starchy. It should not be al dente.
  4. Drain the noodles and submerge them in a bowl of cold water. With your hands, gently rub the noodles to remove the starch. This will help prevent it from clumping.
    • This is a really good blog post that shows how to prepare soba noodles step-by-step.
  5. In a blender, add about a 3/4 inch nub of ginger, skin removed, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, a squirt of sriracha . Blend until smooth.
  6. Taste, and add water depending on  how strong the flavor is. Add ginger for more spiciness, add honey for more sweetness.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine soba noodles with 1/2 cup edamame, a handful of carrot sticks,  and the sauce. Mix well.
  8. Serve and garnish with  4 scallions, chopped, cilantro and sesame seeds.

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Cold Cucumber Salad

dsc_0005This recipe is super simple!

  1. Cut 1 English cucumber in half length-wise.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler peel the skin, and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Continue peeling the cucumber so it falls in delicate, strips.
  4. Do the same with 1 carrot
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp rice vinegar  and 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1-2 tsp sugar. Add a few chilli flakes for flavor and salt to taste. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Pour the mixture over the salad. This can be served immediately, or later. The flavor seeps in  more the longer you wait. It’s so delicious I can’t wait for you to try!

This recipe yields 2 servings. double for a larger quantity.

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Quick and Easy Japanese Eggplant in a Green Curry Sauce

I’m not much of an eggplant person. I’ve learned to like it more over the years, but it will never be my go-to choice. But I was at the farmers market the other day and I saw these beautifully vibrant purple japanese eggplants. Japanese eggplants have a tougher, less mushy consistency. They hold their shape well and go great with asian dishes. I decided to make a quick and easy green curry. Quite honestly, this recipe is quick! I find that most of my cooking time is used with prep. In this dish I only used eggplant, and some shallots and red pepper. I served it with Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown rice.  I was super excited to use my fresh thai basil that I have growing out on the balcony as a garnish. It was delicious! If you don’t have thai basil, you can use cilantro or regular basil. This dish was a true testament to the fact that a healthy meal can be done from start to finish in under 20 minutes.

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You will Need:

  • 2 Japanese Eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a small nub of ginger (optional)
  • Green Curry Paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Soy sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Thai basil (optional)

To prepare:

  1. Cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Then cut them on the bias, meaning at a diagonal so you get nice little pretty angled pieces. DSC_0032
  2. Next, chop the garlic, shallots, and slice the red pepper.
  3. In a wok, heat some oil, add the garlic and shallots and stir.
  4. Add in the eggplants and saute for 5 minutes on high heat.
  5. Add in the red peppers and stir.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, add 1 can of coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Take a tablespoon of green curry paste and dissolve this in the milk. You can optionally grate some ginger over the top for added flavor at this stage.
  7. Reduce the flame to medium and allow the curry to simmer for another 5 minutes, adding water as necessary, depending on how you like it. The eggplants are cooked when they are no longer white, but have a more eggplanty color.
  8. Taste the  curry and make sure it has enough salt.
  9. Sprinkle some chopped or julienned thai basil over the top and serve with steaming brown rice!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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Cajun Roasted Rainbow Carrots

So I got these awesome multi-colored carrots at Trader Joes. It immediately gave me some kitchen inspiration. In the winter time I often love making cajun roasted sweet potato fries. Sometimes I add in some turnips or carrots. There are several different varieties of carrots, but the most popular is obviously orange. Apparently each type of carrot has different nutrient and antioxidant properties

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The carrots contain the following properties, according to this Time article:

  • Orange: Beta and alpha carotene pigment. This promotes vitamin A production by the body, which is essential for healthy eyes.
  • Purple: Anthocyanin, beta and alpha carotene pigment. Purple carrots typically have an orange core, and their pigment-related nutrients may provide additional vitamin A and prevent heart disease.
  • Red: Lycopene and beta-carotene pigment. Lycopene is the same red pigment that gives tomatoes their deep color and is linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer.
  • Yellow: Xanthophykks and lutein. Both are linked to cancer prevention and better eye health.
  • White: The nutrients don’t come from the pigment but from the fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.

Fascinating stuff! They each have a different taste too. I find the orange variety to be sweeter, ad the yellow and white varieties to be a little bit more starchy, like potatoes. For the recipe,  you just need 3 simple ingredients and an oven. I just tossed them with olive oil and some spicy cajun seasoning and roasted them up. They were a super delicious snack!

DSC_0022You Will Need:

  • A good bunch of rainbow carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Cajun seasoning (salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes)

 

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To Prepare:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 or 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the carrots into even 1 1/2 inch  sticks
  3. Lay them out on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning (generously) and toss them up
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until fork tender. The high heat helps the outsides to crisp up a bit. Try not to overcrowd the baking tray or the carrots will steam rather than roast and might become mushy.
  6. Enjoy as a healthy side dish or snack! DSC_0044DSC_0080

Prep time: 10 mins

Bake time: 20 mins

1 bag of carrots serves 4 as a side dish.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

I’m back and at it with posting! Sorry for the very long respite. I worked to re-vamp this blog and create a new layout. Let me know what you think! Here’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a few months now. Since thanksgiving, actually! At thanksgiving, we decided against the traditional fare, and opted for an asian-themed thanksgiving. Naturally, coconut milk-based curry was on the menu! This weekend we were slammed with a mountain of snow. This recipe is perfect for cozying up on the couch. This recipe is mild, but has a nice warm kick from the spices and ginger. Enjoy it served piping hot basmati rice with peas and cumin.

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You will Need:

  • Half a small head of cauliflower (I used the bagged Trader Joes cut cauliflower)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Red Bell pepper
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder (My favorite is from Trader Joes, and contains cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron)
  • Cilantro
  • 1 can of Coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

To Prepare:

Step 1: Roast the veggies

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  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut sweet potato and cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  2. Coat the veggies with some light oil, like grapeseed or olive, and sprinkle some curry powder on it. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

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Step 2:

  1. In a skillet or wok, heat a few tsps of oil.  Add 1/2 medium onion, sliced or 1 small onion, sliced. half a red pepper and half an orange pepper
  2. Grate 1 clove of garlic and about 1/2 inch nub of ginger (1 tsp)
  3. Add 1 tbsp curry powder, stir. You can add additional turmeric if you would like the color to be more yellow.
  4. When veggies are softened, add 1 can coconut milk and 1 can of water.
  5. Mix well, allow to simmer for a few minutes and season well with salt.
  6. Add roasted veggies, mix, simmer for 1 minute and remove from flame.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and Serve with hot rice!

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This recipe yields 4 servings. Prep time is 20 mins, cook time 15 minutes.